798258_2Any self respecting board game nerd has played Settlers of Catan and likely has a copy sitting on a shelf with at least one of the expansions. Kolonists [App Store] shrinks Catan in to the palm of your hand, combining the core gameplay experience with the iPhone touch interface.

Originally published in 1995, Settlers of Catan is often referred to as the "killer app" of board games both due to its overwhelming popularity and massive international appeal. Catan has sold over 15 million copies and has been translated to over 30 different languages as well as seeing different electronic versions of the game including browser-based applets, an XBOX Live! Arcade game, and now an iPhone game.

The basic idea behind Kolonists is you're a band of settlers on an island and you build farms, villas, and roads to connect them while collecting resources to build even more or trade with other players. Everything you build awards influence points, hit 10 influence, and win the game. (Influence levels can also be changed to 12 or 14 to win in Kolonists.) This is a complete oversimplification of the game, as I've read web sites that consist of nothing but strategy discussion for winning Catan.

798258_4The game has an almost Tetris-like appeal to it in that you can learn how to play in a few seconds, but becoming a good player will take much longer. No two games are ever the same because the game board game consists of randomized hex tiles, so one strategy that worked well for you in a previous game may be rendered completely ineffective due to the resource layout of the next game.

The greatest disappointment in Kolonists is the lack of online multiplayer. Since 3.0 came out I've been waiting for great board games like this to all come packed with the ability to play asynchronous multiplayer with push notifications when it's your turn. This functionality would take Kolonists to a whole new level, as the fun part of Catan always has been playing against other people, forming alliances, and eventually betraying those alliances.

There are also some odd rule changes in Kolonists, for instance there are no dice and instead of gathering resources from adjacent tiles, you gather from where you place your worker. This also restricts resource sharing since only one worker can be on a resource space at a time. Finally, there isn't any negotiation to be had with the AI opponents. Your only options for resource trading are pure 3:1 or 4:3 trades to banks or ports. (Thanks, Mrbass.)

If you're new to Settlers of Catan, check out the Wikipedia article for more in-depth rules. Kolonists is the best way to play on the iPhone, and it provides a pretty decent Catan experience. If multiplayer is your thing, I'd check out the free JSettlers java game, look in to the XBOX Live! Arcade game, or better yet, pick up the board game.

App Store Link: Kolonists, $1.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • thebennster93

    Sweet!!! I hoped Settlers of Catan would eventually come to the iPhone.

  • thebennster93

    Sweet!!! I hoped Settlers of Catan would eventually come to the iPhone.

  • cir

    this game is nothing like the setlers. I would love to see if the writer really played a colonist game in his life ever ... lol

    • Eli Hodapp

      The original was the game of choice among my college friends, so yes, I've played it and most of the expansions.

    • http://www.hbdia.com IzzyNobre

      You're confusing SETTLERS OF CATAN, the board game, with THE SETTLERS, an old Amiga title by Blue Byte (currently Ubisoft).

  • cir

    this game is nothing like the setlers. I would love to see if the writer really played a colonist game in his life ever ... lol

    • Eli Hodapp

      The original was the game of choice among my college friends, so yes, I've played it and most of the expansions.

    • http://www.hbdia.com IzzyNobre

      You're confusing SETTLERS OF CATAN, the board game, with THE SETTLERS, an old Amiga title by Blue Byte (currently Ubisoft).

  • BOWB4ZOD

    this game is really well made. Just wish it had online/bluetooth play and you could enable rolling the dice.

  • BOWB4ZOD

    this game is really well made. Just wish it had online/bluetooth play and you could enable rolling the dice.

  • mrbass@mrbass.org

    1995 not 1955. Anway I've played about 6 or 7 games of this and still up in the air wheter I want to recommend it or not. Polished for sure graphically. But no dice and your houses don't gather from the 3 adjacent hexes but rather from only 1 wherever your worker is. Can't share them either as only one player's work can occupy hex. Not negotiotion either just pure trading 4:1, 3:1 to bank or ports respectively.

  • mrbass@mrbass.org

    1995 not 1955. Anway I've played about 6 or 7 games of this and still up in the air wheter I want to recommend it or not. Polished for sure graphically. But no dice and your houses don't gather from the 3 adjacent hexes but rather from only 1 wherever your worker is. Can't share them either as only one player's work can occupy hex. Not negotiotion either just pure trading 4:1, 3:1 to bank or ports respectively.

  • http://www.lukevink.com Luke

    I prefer the german original to all of it!

  • http://www.lukevink.com Luke

    I prefer the german original to all of it!

  • Cougarcat

    Calling this game a Catan clone is a bit of a stretch! No trading and no dice. I'll pass.

    It would be awesome if this: http://www.s3dconnector.net/ was ported to the iPhone, but seeing as there isn't even an OS X version, it won't happen.

  • Cougarcat

    Calling this game a Catan clone is a bit of a stretch! No trading and no dice. I\'ll pass.

    It would be awesome if this: http://www.s3dconnector.net/ was ported to the iPhone, but seeing as there isn\'t even an OS X version, it won\'t happen.

  • PaulB

    I'm going to have to agree with Eli, if a game like this gets push notification how could I resist?

  • PaulB

    I'm going to have to agree with Eli, if a game like this gets push notification how could I resist?

  • Dark NRG

    I bot it a few days ago and really enjoy it, I mean for 2 bucks can't beat it! I just bought Monty Python Fluxx game at the game store for $20 yesterday, so when a designer game comes to the iPhone, it's quite a treat. I personally am not much for a "Roman-esc" theme, and would love dice, but it's def polished and fun.

  • Dark NRG

    I bot it a few days ago and really enjoy it, I mean for 2 bucks can't beat it! I just bought Monty Python Fluxx game at the game store for $20 yesterday, so when a designer game comes to the iPhone, it's quite a treat. I personally am not much for a "Roman-esc" theme, and would love dice, but it's def polished and fun.

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    I LOVE Settlers of Catan, saw this come in and am definitely going to give it a try. I think the XBLA game is pretty flawless in it's execution, I'd love to see a direct port of that.

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    I LOVE Settlers of Catan, saw this come in and am definitely going to give it a try. I think the XBLA game is pretty flawless in it's execution, I'd love to see a direct port of that.

  • Martin

    Oh, I wish they'll make iPhone version of Civilization. That is such a cool game! Have played all 4 of them.

    • Rich

      There *is* one - Civilization Revolution! I showed the iPhone version to someone who has it on his PS3 and he said it's the exact same game.

  • Martin

    Oh, I wish they'll make iPhone version of Civilization. That is such a cool game! Have played all 4 of them.

    • Rich

      There *is* one - Civilization Revolution! I showed the iPhone version to someone who has it on his PS3 and he said it's the exact same game.

  • MisterDrgn

    I do think Eli ought to mention in the article that it isn't entirely the same as Settlers, with the use of workers instead of dice. That is a key difference. That said, I've been playing and enjoying this for a good while. My one complaint with the current version would be that occasionally the AI gets stuck and takes an absurdly long time to plan its next move.

  • MisterDrgn

    I do think Eli ought to mention in the article that it isn't entirely the same as Settlers, with the use of workers instead of dice. That is a key difference. That said, I've been playing and enjoying this for a good while. My one complaint with the current version would be that occasionally the AI gets stuck and takes an absurdly long time to plan its next move.

  • Brian

    I'm glad to see a Settlers like game on the iPhone, but the fact that it doesn't use the numbered hexes and dice to determine resources makes a HUGE difference in how the game is played, which is not at all like Catan. It definitely adds a new dynamic to the game, but I'm not really sure I like it. I guess it does force you to plan ahead as to what resources you think you're going to need in the future.

    • Johnny

      Noone has mentioned "Settledown", which is supposed to be an exact clone of Catan.

      Has anyone tried it?

  • Brian

    I'm glad to see a Settlers like game on the iPhone, but the fact that it doesn't use the numbered hexes and dice to determine resources makes a HUGE difference in how the game is played, which is not at all like Catan. It definitely adds a new dynamic to the game, but I'm not really sure I like it. I guess it does force you to plan ahead as to what resources you think you're going to need in the future.

    • Johnny

      Noone has mentioned "Settledown", which is supposed to be an exact clone of Catan.

      Has anyone tried it?

  • gr8kabookie

    This is the only game I have bought that constantly crashes. New OS. 3GS. It seems really fun, but after abotu 10-15 minutes, it will put you back on your main phone menu. Other then that, very fun.

  • gr8kabookie

    This is the only game I have bought that constantly crashes. New OS. 3GS. It seems really fun, but after abotu 10-15 minutes, it will put you back on your main phone menu. Other then that, very fun.

  • http://www.northernbytes.ca Louard

    I'm sad to see so much work went into a game that isn't really original and can't actually be Catan either.

  • http://www.northernbytes.ca Louard

    I'm sad to see so much work went into a game that isn't really original and can't actually be Catan either.

  • liquidate

    Would be nice if someone would make Carcassonne (or a clone.) If one exists, please speak up!

  • liquidate

    Would be nice if someone would make Carcassonne (or a clone.) If one exists, please speak up!

  • jon

    I almost bought it. Then I played it on a friend's iPod and now I'm leaving it be. It isn't at all like Settlers of Catan. It looks kind of like it, but it plays completely different.

  • jon

    I almost bought it. Then I played it on a friend's iPod and now I'm leaving it be. It isn't at all like Settlers of Catan. It looks kind of like it, but it plays completely different.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    How about official game releases for:
    Puerto Rico
    Agricola
    and yes
    Carcassonne could be cool with the multi-touch tile rotation and zooming. :)

    Catan has always frustrated me, personally. Not enough chances to make decisions that matter for your game. It can still be fun though.

    I also have an idea for an iPhone game that should appeal to people who like these games. Maybe after Snowball Touch releases I'll start putting some real effort into it.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    How about official game releases for:
    Puerto Rico
    Agricola
    and yes
    Carcassonne could be cool with the multi-touch tile rotation and zooming. :)

    Catan has always frustrated me, personally. Not enough chances to make decisions that matter for your game. It can still be fun though.

    I also have an idea for an iPhone game that should appeal to people who like these games. Maybe after Snowball Touch releases I'll start putting some real effort into it.

  • Dark NRG

    Race for the Galaxy or Dungeon Twister online multiplayer would be cool.
    Or I should say Munchkin. I wonder if there's any Steve Jackson Games comin out besides the Munchkin Counter app I just found released like a month ago.

  • Dark NRG

    Race for the Galaxy or Dungeon Twister online multiplayer would be cool.
    Or I should say Munchkin. I wonder if there's any Steve Jackson Games comin out besides the Munchkin Counter app I just found released like a month ago.

  • Jooooooe

    Catan for the iPhone is coming, according to an announcement on Catan.com:

    http://catan.com/gamenews/187-catan-for-iphone.html

  • Jooooooe

    Catan for the iPhone is coming, according to an announcement on Catan.com:

    http://catan.com/gamenews/187-catan-for-iphone.html

  • http://pastie.org/559775 Oliver

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    CRAZY MICRO MAHINES (very nice graphics) -150
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    TOUCHTRIS (GOOD graphics) - 150
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    CUTE PET GAMES

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    MIGHT THE MAGIC QUEST (very nice graphics) - 350
    RAYMAN THE JUMPER 3 (very nice graphics) - 150
    SUPER MARIO TOUCH (very nice graphics) - 250

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  • http://pastie.org/559775 Oliver

    GAMES FOR IPHONE CLONE CHINA (FULL SCREEN GAMES )

    FOR SALE JAR GAMES (JAVA GAMES) For china iPhone clone: To all who has a china Iphone clone (240x320) resolution or 3.2

    to 3.4 inches touch screen that supports java application. I have many compatible jar games for it.(FULL SCREEN JAR

    GAMES) if you want a copy just inform me...
    chat or contact me... at this email: oliver_lundag@yahoo.com or text/call at this number:09232713274".

    FACTS:

    1) If the files don't work, will you resend it?
    ans: yes, I am willing to support and answer any of your questions when I send the game to you. I assure you that all my games are

    working.If your iphone clone supports JAVA there will be no problem.

    2) How much is each game?
    ans: The price is depends on the type of the game and quality. But prices are still negotiable.

    3) Do I get a choice?
    ans: Yes, feel free to choose.

    INSTALLATION OF THE GAME

    1. copy this file to your memory or phone memory
    2. Select the file then choose install
    3. launch the game

    if you want to open the installed game again
    go to JAVA then Fun and Games.

    LIST OF THE GAMES

    Price in Philippine peso.
    (PRICES ARE NEGOTIABLE DEPENDING OF THE TYPE AND QUALITY OF THE GAME)

    PACKAGE of 5 (five) games >> PRICE (599) PHILIPPINE pesos
    --2 BEST SELLER
    --3 ANY GAMES Except on the best seller

    PER GAMES

    BEST SELLER GAMES

    RAYMAN ADVENTURE (very nice graphics) - 350
    BART SIMSON ADVENTURE (very nice graphics) - 350
    RAYMAN RACE (very nice graphics)- 350
    MOBILE TOUCH CHESS (very nice graphics) - 350
    SKY IS THE LIMIT FORCE (very nice graphics) - 350
    RAYMAN COOL ADVENTURE (very nice graphics) - 350
    X-TARGET WAR FIRE OUT (very nice graphics) - 350
    SWAT TEAM FORCE (very nice graphics) - 350
    CAT AND MOUSE BOND (very nice graphics) - 350
    SWING ME ARROUND (very nice graphics) - 350
    ZBALL TARGET MODE (very nice graphics) - 350
    SPACE HIGHWAY RACER (very nice graphics) - 350
    SPEED CAR (very nice graphics) - 350
    PACMAN 3D MODE (very nice graphics) - 350
    3D FINDING NEMO ADVENT (very nice graphics) - 350
    MIGHT THE MAGIC QUEST (very nice graphics) - 350
    SUPER MARIO TOUCH (very nice graphics) - 250

    HOBBIES AND MIND GAMES

    COOL MAX PUZZLE MANIA (very nice graphics) - 250
    PIPE MASTER (very nice graphics) - 250
    COMMAND ROBOT (nice graphics) - 250
    SODOKU (nice graphics) - 250
    CRAZY MICRO MAHINES (very nice graphics) -150
    BOMB EXPERTS (nice graphics) - 150
    TOUCHTRIS (GOOD graphics) - 150
    TICTACTOUCH (GOOD graphics) - 150
    GRANDMASTERCHESS (very nice graphics) - 150

    CUTE PET GAMES

    NUTS (very nice graphics) - 250
    SUPER YUM YUMMY (very nice graphics) - 250

    GAMBLING LORD GAMES

    TEXAS POKER KID (very nice graphics) - 150
    SIM FISHING BOND (very nice graphics) - 150

    SPORTS GAMES

    THROW THE PIG (very nice graphics) - 250
    NINE BALL ( nice graphics) - 150
    PANG BALL (very nice graphics) - 150

    RPG GAMES ADDICTS

    MIGHT THE MAGIC QUEST (very nice graphics) - 350
    RAYMAN THE JUMPER 3 (very nice graphics) - 150
    SUPER MARIO TOUCH (very nice graphics) - 250

    WIFI APPLICATION FOR IPHONE CLONE (GPRS CONNECTION)

    SURF ME (very nice graphics) - 450